Na Clocha Liatha
Greystones from the north
|Motto: Gníomhach idir Carraig is Crúacha
Active between rock and mountain peaks
|• Type||Town Council|
|Elevation||50 m (160 ft)|
|Irish Grid Reference||O297122|
Greystones (Irish: Na Clocha Liatha) is a coastal town and seaside resort in County Wicklow, Ireland. It lies on Ireland's east coast, 8 km (5.0 mi) south of Bray and 27 km (17 mi) south of Dublin, with a population of about 15,000. The town is bordered by the Irish Sea to the east, Bray Head to the north and the Wicklow Mountains to the west.
The town was named after a one kilometre stretch of grey stones between two beaches on the sea front. The harbour area and the railway station are at the northern and southern ends respectively. The North Beach, which begins at the harbour, is a stony beach and some of its length is overlooked by the southern cliffs of Bray Head, which are subject to erosion. The South Beach is a broad sandy beach about one kilometre long. It is a Blue Flag beach and receives many visitors and tourists, mainly in the summer.
In 2008, Greystones was named as the world's 'most liveable community' at the LivCom Awards in China.
- 1 History
- 2 Population and development
- 3 Transport
- 4 Politics
- 5 Future development
- 6 People
- 7 Sports
- 8 Town twinning
- 9 Religion
- 10 Education and research
- 11 Entertainment
- 12 Film and television
- 13 Gallery
- 14 See also
- 15 References
- 16 External links
Greystones is located south of the site of an ancient castle of the Barony of Rathdown. There was a hamlet which, like the castle, was known as Rathdown, and which appeared on a 1712 map. This site occupied an area now known as the Grove, north of Greystones harbour, but only the ruins of a chapel, St. Crispin's Cell, survive. Greystones is a much more recent settlement and is first mentioned in Topographia Hibernica, a 1795 publication. Here it is described as a "noted fishing place four miles beyond Bray."
In the early 19th century, there were some families scattered around the harbour, Blacklion, Windgates, Killincarrig and Rathdown. Delgany was a more substantial and longer established village. However, Greystones was put on the map with the coming of the railway in 1855, a difficult undertaking which was performed in consultation with Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the famous engineer. The train station was built on the line dividing the properties of two landowners; the La Touche family of Bellevue House (now in ruins, near Delgany), and the Hawkins-Whitshed family of Killincarrig House (which is now Greystones Golf Club). It provided links with Bray and Dublin, and left room for development on the adjoining estates.
In the latter half of the 19th century, under the ownership of William Robert La Touche, Greystones' development gathered momentum. To the north of the station, Church Road, Victoria Road and Trafalgar Road were laid out and many houses were built in the years following the arrival of the railway. Following her father's death, Elizabeth Hawkins-Whitshed was the sole inheritor of his property. In 1879, she married Frederick Gustavus Burnaby; a soldier, politician and traveller. Burnaby died in battle in 1885 and Elizabeth remarried twice, but the property continued to be known as the Burnaby Estate. In the early 20th century, the Burnabys began to expand the town on their side of the station, and the roads and houses of the Burnaby were developed and the population grew considerably. The names of these two families remain well-known today, with many roads and housing estates bearing their names.
Between 1885 and 1897, the people of Greystones campaigned for a harbour to aid the fishing industry and imports such as coal. The pier, dock, sea wall and boat-slip remain but have endured substantial damage. In the early 20th century, the town felt the effects of coastal erosion (which is still a major problem); the loss of fields and most of the houses on the North Beach Road, and the costly inland relocation of the railway have all resulted. In 1968, the old Kish lighthouse foundation was added to the end of the pier.
At the end of World War II, cars and petrol became widely available, allowing Greystones to gradually expand, filling in the space between itself and outlying areas such as Blacklion, Killincarrig and Delgany. However, the popularity of the railway declined; its very existence being in jeopardy during the 1980s, as government cutbacks reduced the service to just a few trains per day. The 1990s brought a revival with the arrival of the electrified DART from Bray, and a much more frequent schedule.
Population and development
Greystones has experienced a huge increase in its population since the 1970s with the construction of several large housing estates. A new development at Charlesland, just south of the town, includes over 1,000 dwelling units. As of the 2006 census the population of Greystones, including town and environs, stands at 14,569 making it the second largest town in the county after Bray.
Along with the housing developments, road networks and facilities have been improved to cater for the growth. The road between Greystones and Bray has been widened and realigned. A new dual carriageway link road (R774) connecting Greystones to the N11 has been completed. Construction of a full interchange with the N11 has also been completed.
According to the 2006 census, Greystones has the largest Church of Ireland presence as a proportion of the population (9.77%).
Greystones railway station, which opened on 30 October 1855, is the southern terminus of the DART railway line, a service which connects thirty stations along Dublin's east coast. Iarnród Éireann diesel Commuter and InterCity trains also serve Greystones, linking the town with Wicklow, Arklow, Gorey, Wexford, and Rosslare Europort to the south, and Dublin's Connolly Station to the north.
Greystones is served by the 84, 184 and 84X Dublin Bus routes whilst route 702 Aircoach service starting at Charlesland links the area with Dublin Airport.
Greystones is part of the East European Parliament constituency and the Wicklow Dáil Éireann constituency. In local government Greystones has four councillors on Wicklow County Council. In the town, there are nine elected Councillors on Greystones Town Council, headed by a Mayor who is elected by the Town Councillors.
2009 Town Council election summary
This was to be a €300 million redevelopment scheme for the harbour, to be built by the Sispar consortium (Sispar is a joint venture consortium of Sisk and Michael Cotter's Park Developments) in a public-private partnership with Wicklow County Council. This has been and remains a major topical issue in the town. Objections revolved around the privatisation of public beach front land without broad public agreement, but work started. The development was to include a new harbour, 341 apartments, a 230 berth marina, a new public plaza and facilities for local sporting clubs.
On the granting of planning permission, 6,210 submissions were received by An Bord Pleanála on initial plans, of which more than 6,200 were objections. Many of the objections came from outside County Wicklow, according to a spokesman for Wicklow County Council. Many objected to specifics of the plan while approving the general idea. An oral hearing was held and the board requested the developers to make certain changes which resulted in the plans being scaled down by approximately 10%. Some 3,700 objections were made on these updated plans. On 9 August 2007, the board approved the final plans, while imposing 13 conditions on construction works, including the retention of public access to the Cliff Walk during the development period, strict guidelines in relation to dust suppression, the re-use of demolition materials, and limitations on the hours of operation and noise levels. The board also over-ruled an earlier inspector's report, instead permitting an old unlicenced landfill to remain beside the new apartments.
In February 2010, it was announced that development of the marina would be paused indefinitely due to conditions in the Irish property market.
After the development plans stalled, the loans attached to the development were transferred to NAMA. Sispar insisted that it needed funding from NAMA to finish the project. In September 2012 it was reported that NAMA had written off €50m owed for the troubled development of Greystones Harbour. It appeared that it was not the Sispar consortium but Sisk alone that controlled the loans.
Greystones and its environs (including Delgany) are home to several celebrities including:
- Éamon de Buitléar; wildlife film maker and naturalist.
- Reggie Corrigan; former professional rugby player, Irish team member and former most capped Leinster player of all time.
- Ronnie Drew of The Dubliners lived in Greystones.
- John L. Murray; Chief Justice of Ireland 2004–2011.
- George Hamilton; commentator for RTÉ television.
- Frank Kelly; the actor who portrayed Father Jack in Father Ted.
- Paul McNaughton; former Irish International Rugby player, ex Leinster manager
- Sean FitzPatrick; former chairman of Anglo Irish Bank
- Stephen Donnelly; TD in the Irish Parliament.
- Amy Bowtell; Irish Female Professional Tennis Player.
- Marten Toonder, artist, creator of Oliver B. Bumble
St. Kilian's Badminton Club plays in Shoreline Leisure Center on Mill Road every Thursday. Their website may be found at St. Kilian's Badminton Club
Greystones is home to the Greystones Mariners Baseball Club, catering to all ages. The Mariners adult team compete nationally and several of the players represent Ireland on the National Baseball Team.
A lawn bowling club is located at Burnaby Park.
Cricket returned to Greystones in 2012 with the formation of Greystones Cricket, a vibrant and family-oriented club who currently practice (nets) at Greystones RFC and play their home matches at the Greystones United F.C. grounds. They have three senior men's teams and one ladies team playing in the Leinster Cricket Union competitions, a taverners and two junior teams.
Éire Óg Greystones GAA club is located on the Mill Road, at the south end of the town. The club has recently undergone a major reconstruction which saw improvements made to the club house, pitches, lighting and parking facilities. It is now one of the most used club facilities in the Greystones area.
There are two 18-hole golf courses and a driving range within the town. Greystones Golf Club was founded in 1895 and allows fine views over the town, the countryside, and the Irish Sea. Charlesland Golf Club is newer, flatter, and located by the sea. These venues can be reached by walking from the train station. There are other courses within short driving distance (less than eight km) at Delgany, Glen of the Downs, Kilcoole, Druids Glen (just outside Kilcoole), Bray and Woodbrook.
Greystones has many marine based clubs including sailing and wind-surfing, angling, diving, rowing and Sea Scouts.
Greystones rowing club was established 1920 and still going today.
Shore angling for cod and plaice at the beaches and the harbour attracts many people, especially during the summer. Swimming is popular in warmer weather, especially on the south beach. The coast is also suitable for jogging and hiking.
The town is home to a successful soccer club, Greystones United, which is based at Woodlands near the south beach. GUFC is the largest schoolboy/girl football club in the country, and has in excess of 700 members. Perhaps the club's most famous alumnus is current Irish international Paul McShane. Another successful club, Greystones AFC, is located at 'The Arch Field' just beside the railway bridge at the harbour. Five of their players have represented Ireland at various levels. Ian Horan, Chris Mason and Stephen McCann have represented the Irish Intermediate team and Stephen Roche and Richie O'Hanlon have represented the Irish Colleges team. The Saturday and Sunday sides both play in the top division of the Leinster Senior League.
Greystones has town twinning agreements with:
Greystones has variety of Christian denominations in the locality, with most divisions of mainstream Christianity represented. There is a Roman Catholic, a Presbyterian, an Anglican (Church of Ireland), an Evangelical, and an Evangelical Armenian church in Greystones. Carraig Eden Theological College is the premier Pentecostal centre for theological study and ministerial training in Ireland, offering BTh and MTh degrees in Applied Theology The majority of residents are Roman Catholic, but Greystones is the town with the highest population of Protestants in the Republic of Ireland with 9.77% of residents claiming to be Church of Ireland (according to the 2006 census).
Education and research
Greystones has six primary schools:
- St. Kevin's National School (Roman Catholic; formerly Christian Brothers)
- St. Brigid's National School (Roman Catholic)
- St. Laurence's National School (Roman Catholic)
- St. Patrick's National School (predominantly Church of Ireland)
- Greystones Educate Together National School (Educate Together; non-denominational)
- Gaelscoil na gCloch Liath (inter-denominational; instruction given through Irish language).
The town also has a Roman Catholic secondary school:
- St. David's Holy Faith Secondary School which is a public, co-educational school with approximately 500 students.
Nevertheless, it is relatively common for local young people to attend schools in neighbouring localities.
There is a Spanish school, School SEK-Dublin, in Belvedere Hall in Windgates.
Wicklow County Council manages a Carnegie library opposite Burnaby Park on the main street (Church Road).
Greystones has a number of entertainment facilities; Charlesland Sports and Recreation Park which include a skate park, several all-weather football and basketball courts and a playground. A large number of gigs organised by local independent youths take place, played by mostly local bands although international punk and hardcore acts have played in the town. The Greystones Theatre, suitable for drama, dance, concerts and other events, is located in the town centre and is supplemented by Greystones Studios, which provide classes, performance space, practice rooms and AV studios.
Film and television
- The Ormonde cinema in Greystones, which closed in July 2007, featured in the Father Ted episode "The Passion of St. Tibulus" and also in an episode of Custer's Last Standup.
- Greystones featured as the backdrop for some scenes in the popular BBC series Ballykissangel.
- In the 1980s, many scenes from a series called "Rose of Dublin" were filmed around the harbour area of Greystones.
- The town was commonly used in the Irish programme Glenroe.
- The movie Taffin, starring Pierce Brosnan, was filmed in Greystones.
- Greystones featured in an episode of Dream Team, a Sky One soccer soap series.
- Parts of George Gently, a 2007 British detective one-off by BBC, were filmed around the Harbour. Martin Shaw starred in the production, which is set in 1960s Britain (Northhumberland). The Beach House pub was renamed 'The Mariner's Rest' for the occasion.
- The movie Yesterday's Children, starring Jane Seymour, was filmed in Greystones.
Harbour and Little Sugar Loaf
- "Greystones 'world's most liveable community'''". RTÉ. 10 November 2008. Retrieved 3 February 2009.
- "Table 14A Persons in each town of 1,500 population and over classified by age group". CSO. Retrieved 3 February 2009.
- "Greystones and Delgany station" (PDF). Railscot – Irish Railways. Retrieved 8 September 2007.
- Greenwood, Margaret; Connolly, Mark; Wallis, Geoff (2003). The Rough Guide to Ireland. London: Rough Guides. p. 158. ISBN 1-84353-059-7.
- The proposed development Greystones Harbour.com. Retrieved on 23 May 2006.[dead link]
- Proposals for town's €300m marina 'have serious flaws' Irish Independent, 28 March 2006. Retrieved on 24 May 2006.
- Greystones Marina plan generates 5,500 submissions The Irish Times, 16 February 2006. Retrieved on 9 August 2007.
- €300m Greystones development to go ahead RTÉ News, 9 August 2007. Retrieved on 9 August 2007.
- Greystones development gets go-ahead The Irish Times, 9 August 2007. Retrieved on 9 August 2007.
- Greystones development paused The Irish Times,22 February 2010. Retrieved on 20 March 2010.
- Burke, Roisin (8 April 2012). "NAMA firm struggles to survive as Cotter sails €1m yacht". Business (Dublin). Sunday Independent.
- Burke, Roisin (2 September 2012). "NAMA agrees to debt write-down". Business (Dublin). Sunday Independent.
- Heffernan, Breda (22 December 2012). "Sean FitzPatrick released on bail after facing fresh charges". Irish Independent. Retrieved 19 February 2013.
- "Greystones United". Greystones United Football Club. Retrieved 3 February 2009.
- Williams, Ffion (18 January 2012). "Holyhead to be officially twinned with Irish town Greystones on Friday". Bangor and Anglesey Mail. Retrieved 19 April 2012.
- "Welcome". Greystones.dublindiocese.ie. 30 January 2006. Retrieved 3 February 2009.[dead link]
- "Welcome – Greystones Presbyterian Church". Greystones Presbyterian Church. Retrieved 2 February 2009.
- "Church of Ireland – A province of the Anglican Communion". Ireland.anglican.org. Retrieved 3 February 2009.
- "Hillside Evangelical Church – Home". Hillsideevangelicalchurch.ie. Retrieved 3 February 2009.
- Northern Europe Field Director Philip McAlister. "Ireland † Nazarene Northern Europe Field". Naznef.org. Retrieved 3 February 2009.[dead link]
- "Carraig Eden Theological College". Retrieved 31 October 2008.
- "Charlesland Sports and Recreational Park". Wicklow County Council. Retrieved 2 February 2009.[dead link]
- "Greystones Theatre". Greystones Theatre. Retrieved 2 February 2009.
- "Custer's Last Stand-Up Television Show - TV.com". TV.com. Retrieved 3 February 2009.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Greystones.|
- Greystones Harbour Official harbour development website (last update was in 2010).